Change Text Direction in Word (2024)

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Change the text direction in Word

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Coletta Teske Whitehead

Change Text Direction in Word (1)

Coletta Teske Whitehead

Writer

  • Central Washington University

Coletta Teske is a Lifewire writer focusing on consumer electronics. She has 30 years' experience writing for Adobe, Boeing, Microsoft, and many others.

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Updated on November 29, 2022

What to Know

  • Rotate a text box: Go to Insert > Text Box to create a text box. Select the box and drag the rotation handle to the right or left to rotate.
  • Rotate text within a text box: Select Drawing Tools Format > Text Direction and choose either Rotate all text 90° or Rotate all text 270°.
  • Change the direction of a table: Go to Insert > Table to create a table. Select a cell, then select Table Tools Layout > Text Direction.

You can use a text box or table in Microsoft Word to orient text in any direction you like. In this guide, we show you how to rotate a text box, how to rotate text within a text box, and how to change the direction of a table in the desktop versions of Microsoft Word for PC or Mac. (This task cannot be done in Word Online or the Word mobile apps.)

How to Rotate a Text Box in Word

Text boxes make it easy to change the direction of text in word. All you do is create the text box, add some text, and decide how to rotate the text box.

To create a text box, select Insert > Text Box and choose one of the built-in designs. To add text, select the text box and begin typing.

Change Text Direction in Word (2)

To rotate the text with the rotation handle, select the text box and drag the rotation handle to the right or to the left. Release it when the text is in the direction you want.

To rotate the text box by 15-degree increments, hold Shift while dragging the rotation handle.

To rotate the text box 90 degrees:

  • In Word for PC: Select the text box, select Layout > Rotate, and choose either Rotate Right 90° or Rotate Left 90°.
  • In Word for Mac: Click the text box, click Shape Format > Arrange > Rotate > Rotate, and choose either Rotate Right 90° or Rotate Left 90°.

Change Text Direction in Word (3)

To set a custom rotation angle:

  • In Word for PC: Select the text box, select Layout > Rotate, and select More Rotation Options. From the Size tab, change the rotation angle to the angle you need.
  • In Word for Mac: Click the text box, click Shape Format > Arrange > Rotate > Rotate, and click More Rotation Options. From the Size tab, change the rotation angle so the text points in the direction you need.

How to Rotate Text in a Text Box

Instead of rotating the text box, you can opt to rotate the text inside the box instead.

You can also rotate text inside a shape.

Change Text Direction in Word (4)

To rotate text in a text box, select Drawing Tools Format > Text Direction and choose either Rotate all text 90° or Rotate all text 270°. The text will appear vertically on the page.

To align the text inside a text box, select Drawing Tools Format > Align Text, and align the text with the right side of the text box, the left side, or the center.

How to Change Text Direction in a Table

You can also rotate text inside a table. Rotating text makes it possible to have narrow rows in a table.

To create a table, select Insert > Table and choose a table size.

Change Text Direction in Word (5)

To change text direction in a table:

  1. Select the cell containing the text you want to change direction.

  2. To change the text direction, select Table Tools Layout > Text Direction. The text will rotate to the right. Select Text Direction again to rotate the text another 90 degrees.

  3. To change the text alignment, choose an Alignment option to change how the text appears in the cell. You can align the text to the center, to the left, to the right, to the bottom, or to the top.

FAQ

  • How do I rotate a picture in Word?

    Select the picture you want to rotate, then select and hold the rotation handle that appears just above the picture. While still holding, drag the handle to the left or right to rotate. Note that if you have multiple pictures selected at once, they will all rotate individually.

  • How do I rotate a document in Word?

    To rotate a document in Word, select Layout > Orientation, and then choose the page orientation you prefer: Landscape (horizontal) or Portrait (vertical).

  • How do I rotate a single page in Word?

    Select the page you want to reorient, then select Page Layout > Page Setup and choose either Portrait or Landscape under Orientation. Then select Apply to > Selected text.

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Change Text Direction in Word (2024)

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